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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cast in a near-perfect show
Another splendid original cast recording from RCA Victor. This was one of their early digital recordings and the sound on the CD could not be bettered. As a bonus, a few short sections of the score that were cut from the show in previews have been restored for the recording.
The whole cast here is as perfect as one could wish for. Joanna Gleason won the Tony for...
Published on Jan. 30 2004 by Mark Andrew Lawrence

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3.0 out of 5 stars Three-and-a-half stars ... For Sondheim, only fair
Into The Woods is a fine, entertaining show, but I have a feeling after Sondheim has been gone for 100 years this will not be considered one of his classics. Largely that's because he has set the bar so high for himself, but also because the second act is, let's admit it, just flat.
The show came out in 1987, at height of the Ronald Reagan "feel good about...
Published on March 11 2003 by The Man in the Hathaway Shirt


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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect cast in a near-perfect show, Jan. 30 2004
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
Another splendid original cast recording from RCA Victor. This was one of their early digital recordings and the sound on the CD could not be bettered. As a bonus, a few short sections of the score that were cut from the show in previews have been restored for the recording.
The whole cast here is as perfect as one could wish for. Joanna Gleason won the Tony for Best Actress, deservedly so. No one has ever sung "Moments in the Woods" as well. Bernadette is wonderful as the Witch...the only recorded Witch to show all the character's colors! Kim Crosby is a fine Cinderella navigating her way through the thicket of lyrics in "On the Steps of the Palace."
Sondheim's lyrics are both playful and thoughtful. (A personal favorite quote: "Oh if life were only moments/Even Now and Then a bad one/But if life were only moments/Then you'd never know you'd had one!") As always much more to think about than your average musical...and therefore the disc stands up to repeated listenings.
The music too, is sometimes simple and lovely ("Children will Listen"; "No One is alone"); sometimes richly dramatic ("Last Midnight", "Lament") and occasionally too clever for its own good ("I know Things Now", "It Takes Two") but always in perfect keeping with the characters and the story. There is a good reason why this score won the 1988 Tony award over Lloyd Webber's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!
PHANTOM has some lovely melodies, but many dull and boring passages, and the lyrics might as well have came out of an aeresol can! A good Broadway score combines music and lyrics effectively to tell a story ... and that is what the score of INTO THE WOODS does.
There is a video available on VHS and DVD that preserves the original cast in an enjoyable, though somewhat over-the-top performance. The video was taped in the theatre near the end of the show's two year run, while this original cast album was made just 4 days after the show's triumphant premiere. Enjoy both!
Avoid the awful London cast...the cover art is the best thing about that recording. The 2002 revival cast was enjoyable on stage, but the recording fails to capture the fun. Why settle for second best? Stick with the perfect original cast!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Sondheim's best!, July 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
INTO THE WOODS is one of Stephen Sondheim's best musicals! INTO THE WOODS was the first musical that I ever saw (I was six) I caught the acting bug right then and there. Since that time, I've had the priviledge of acting in several productions written by Mr. Sondheim, including INTO THE WOODS.
INTO THE WOODS weaves together two of the most important things in musical theatre: a wonderful story and beautiful music that relates the story to the actor and audience alike. Bernadette Peters is wonderful in this production as the Witch. No other actress could capture the wickedness of the witch in the first act, but also the vulnerability that she feels after she realizes that she's all alone in the world after Rapunzel leaves. Even though this recording does not include the charming "Our Little World" (which was written for the show after this recording), it is still a wonderful showcase of Mr. Sondheim's masterful work. I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of musical theatre and wants to explore their inner child.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ms. Peters at her best!, May 5 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
My children and I are such a fan of musicals as a genre but, "Into the Woods" has become hands-down a family favorite. Ms. Peters is outstanding as usual, but this is truly her best performance ever. This particular style displays her campy demeanor to its best while at the same time drawing from a poignant place within her soul in "Children Will Listen."
It's truly a show the whole family can enjoy. Children will enjoy the fairy tales woven throughout while adults are able to appreciate the nuances of humor which are abundant. It is definately a new twist to the fairy tales of old.
Joanna Gleason shines just as bright as Ms. Peters with her portrayal of the Baker's wife. Kim Crosby is wonderful as Cinderella. The rest of the cast gave stellar performances. The portrayal of Rapunzel was not quite in the same class as the rest of the cast, but was still good.
There are so many good moments within this cd: "Agony," "It Takes Two," "Moments in the Wood" and my personal favorite "Last Midnight."
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5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME MUSICAL!!!!!, April 20 2004
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
what else is there to say?? when you first listen to the prolouge you will instantly love this musical! i am a major fan of stephen sondheim and i am just in awe in his works! Into the Woods, which i have performed as the narrator, is one of my most favorite musicals! the complicated lyrics, characters, the music, you will be instantly drawn into it, like i have!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars ~One Of The Most Wonderful Musicals Ever!~, Feb. 7 2004
By 
Alexandra (St. Mary's City, MD) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
God, this recording and this cast is just beautiful. The storyline is funny and touching, and the cast is fabulous. First and foremost is Bernadette Peters as the Witch. She truly shines, and she proves that she can sing anything. Her most beauiful song is "Stay With Me." She finally shows her beautiful belt voice through this heart-breaking song. Gleason is just as inspirational with her ability to milk out her funny moments for all their worth. Crosby has a wonderful soprano voice that is perfect for Cinderella, and Wright is absolutely delightful. Mabye one of the best actors is that of the Narrator/Mysterious Man who is played by Aldredge. Wodnerful acting skills, but not much of a singer. Finalyl there is Chip who plays a loveable and pleasant baker. All in all, this is a great CD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Into the woods, you go again, you have to every now and then, Feb. 4 2004
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
Into The Woods is fantastic musical, and the soundtrack is just as amazing. I reccomend you see the show before listening to the soundtrack, because it does get very confusing to keep up with if you aren't clear with the story. I think that this soundtrack will be a great additions to anyone's music collection. Each cast members voice blends beautifully onto this cd, and they make it seem effortless, even offstage, from inside a recording studio. This is honestly one of the things I look forward to when I get home every afternoon. I suggest getting it at soon as possible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bernadette Peters Dazzles, Nov. 30 2003
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This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
Amazing, amazing, amazing. It's no wonder that this show won all of the awards that it did. This CD is a wonderful addition to any showtune collection. A stellar CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right." --The Witch--, Aug. 21 2003
By 
Portia (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
What am I right about? Well, how fabulous INTO THE WOODS is, for one thing. I adore INTO THE WOODS. I'll just be honest here on this one. I don't really have anything critcal to say about it. I fell in love with the score the moment I heard it for the first time.
This is one of Sondheim's most accessable musicals: not as harmonically challenging as SUNDAY IN THE PARK... or as attention-to-detail-demanding as the lyrics in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. The music is gloriously lush and memorable, these are Sondhiem's most hummable tunes. The plot and characters are funny and endearing.
Basically, this is a massive fairy-tale-for-grown-ups: all your favorite fairy tale characters spend Act I making wishes, getting "through the woods", and basically following the fairly familiar plots your remember from your childhood. Act II is darker as we find out what happens AFTER ever after! Cinderella realizes that maybe life with a prince wasn't what she was wising for after all, Jack (of beanstalk fame) gets a little greedy, Little Red Riding Hood's mom dies and Prince Charming gets a little fickle.
I can't tell you how much this show will win its way into your heart. Its message, which it delivers in the fable-like way of all fairy stories, brings these imaginary characters troubles surprisingly close to home. You will see how wittily Lapine and Sondheim have reminded us to be "careful the wish you make...the spell you cast."
Anyway, this is truly the only version of this show you'll ever want: they got it right the first time, people! First of all, you have the truly showstopping performance of Joanna Gleason as the Baker's Wife and the wonderful Bernadette Peters as the Witch! What more do you want? The whole cast is perfect... Particularly memorable are the Princes and Little Red.
The whole score is nicely organized on one CD (not the spoken dialogue, just the sung bits...which is most of the show anyway). Also included is what is misleadingly called the full libretto, although NONE of the spoken dialogue is included. You can follow along perfectly with the CD however. Some nice photos are included too. For the true entire experience of this original cast's amazing production you should get the video or DVD... the show was filmed for TV! It's wonderfully filmed and if you aren't a DVD fantic, save your money and go VHS; there are NO extras on the DVD at all.
"I wish!"
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5.0 out of 5 stars When Andrew Lloyd Webber just isn't it, July 14 2003
By 
Megan McKinney (Las Cruces, NM United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
No More is a perfectly enchanting song, i think i'm addicted to it. This musical is the cure to the ordinary musical blues. Phantom of the Opera and Les Miz are all very well and good and I love them both to death, but sometimes you need something different and Into the Woods is it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant sondheim score, June 24 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Woods (Audio CD)
I really don't know how to put this in any other way than "BUY IT!" it's amazing...the intricacy of each and every harmony, melody, the theme, everything is so brilliant. bernadette peters is fabulous as the witch
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